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tv   Quadriga - The International Talk Show  LINKTV  October 30, 2015 9:00am-9:31am PDT

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annenberg media ♪ captioning sponsored by annenberg/cpb narrator: since 1980, latin america has been one of the most rapidly urbanizing regions on earth.
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nowhere are the results more dramatic than in sao paulo, brazil, the third largest city in the world. in this anatomy of a mega-city, we'll explore: the urban geography of immigration and ethnic diversity, squatter settlements and self-construction. sao paulo, brazil. with its crowded boulevards and massive skyscrapers, it seems as wealthy and sophisticated as any city in the world. sao paulo is unique among latin american cities. in the early part of the 20th century, when places like rio de janeiro copied traditional european styles of construction, sao paulo was following a distinctly american model of urbanism. imitating the forms of chicago and new york,
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sao paulo built upward, growing vertically very quickly. but in a huge ring around the central city lies a very different urban environment. here, stretching for miles, is a city of self-built structures in various stages of completion. they line hillsides and rocky streets where some of sao paulo's newest immigrants struggle to build homes from brick and cement. where some of sao paulo's alaide and her family came to sao paulo from northeastern brazil. ( alaide speaking portuguese ) translator: from there my father came first to work. thene came. i rked as a maid, my mother was a seamstress. narrator: alaide married josé franquelino, a northeastern migrant like herself. they couldn't afford even the cheapest rents in the city, so they decided to build a home
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on unclaimed land on the outskirts of sao paulo. they began building this house 11 years ago, when their first daughter was born. ( alaide speaking portuguese ) translator: when she was eight months old, we moved to this house. first we made three rooms... then we rented them out to help things a bit. we then built four rooms on top, and that's where we are now. we will continue to build on top. narrator: they will continue to build. but it's not clear if poor migrants like alaidend josé will ever be part of the wealthy city that seems so far away. tokyo in east asia, along with los angeles in the u.s. and mexico city, are defined by geographers as mega-cities for their enormous size. the country of brazil, the mega-city of sao paulo
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has joined the ranks of these world-famous metropolises, with a population of 18 million people at the start of the 21st century. sao paulo is a city of immigrants, who built it neighborhood by neighborhood. the first immigrants to arrive were portuguese explorers and jesuit missionaries, who settled here in 1554 and brought with them brazil's language a religion. but real growth did not begin until the 19th century. between 1880 and the 1950s, more than five million italians came to sao paulo, attracted by jobs in a booming coffee industry. along with these agricultural workers came small business owners and craftsmen who established an italian enclave called bixiga on the oat the time,the city.
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it was one of the poorest neighborhoods in sao paulo. geographer francisco scarlato studies immigration patterns, assimilation and the expansion of sao paulo. for him, this is not only academic. translator: my paternal grandfather came at the beginning of the century. he was an artisan and he set himself up in a furture factory. narrator: the factory is still in the family today, bigger and more successful than ever. bixiga, too, has both flourished and remained an italian enclave. as sao paulo grew around it, the neighborhood became an important part of the city's mainstream. but the italians did not have bixiga to themselves for long. ( drummi sambaea after slavery was abolished in brazil in 1888, freed slaves moved into the city.
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they were attracted to bixiga by its inexpensive housing. their afro-brazilian legacy is still evident today in vai-vai, the neighborhood samba school. ( speaking portuguese ) translator: the for the black culture,ool. the school is part of the neighborhood community. it represents the neighborhood, the black community. the neighborhood is not only italian; it has blacks, africans, and vai-vai is an expression of that. ( samba-style drumming ) ( speaking portuguese ) translator: the city absorbed the different waves of immigrants, but each group had trouble integrating into the city, because it was so diverse. so each group created its own little world. you can't say the city has one identity today;
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each group built its own identity. ( wild cheering ) narrator: although they began arriving in 1908, japanese immigration to brazil accelerated following world war ii. the devastation suffered by japan sent a wave of immigrants looking for new opportunities outside their country. sao paulo was a popular destination. the japanese settled in a neighborhood called liberdade. today, sao paulo boasts the largest population of japanese people and their descendants outside of japan. but do people here consider themselves to be brazilian or japanese? translator: i feel more brazilian than japanese. eu também. translator: me, too. interviewer: por que? translator: because i was born here, live here. i've never been to japan. translator: more japanese, but also brazilian,
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because my children and grandchildren are all brazilian. but when japan and brazil play against each other, i cheer for the japanese-- my children, for brazil. ( speaking portuguese, laughing ) spking portuguese ) translator: i was born in japan, but now i've been in brazil for many years. i'm now brazilian. narrator: by 1960, when this wave of immigration had slowed, the city, bulging at its seams, boasted 13 million residents. and then yet another group of immigrants began to pour in. ( children shouting ) this group came from brazil's poor northeastern states. between 1955 and 1980, more than five million arrived,
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attracted by the promise of work and a better life. but an already crowded city could not absorb them. so they began to build their own homes and neighborhoods, brick by brick, on the periphery. this so-called "self-construction" caused the city to spread even farther. ( scarlato speaking portuguese ) translator: the gigantic size of sao paulo, in a horizontal sense, is a result of self-construction. in a chaotic, disorganized way, without planning, it spontaneously extended the horizons of the periery in all directions. narrator: today, sao paulo has swelled to encompass over 3,000 square miles, stretching more than 50 miles from end to end. many of the new neighborhoods were built on steep, unstable land. most were not recognized by the city and received few, if any, services.
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but some neighborhoods did progress. jardim valkíria, or "garden of the valkyries," was founded by squatters more than 30 years ago as a collection of cardboard shacks. slowly, solid buildings appeared. stores and churches opened, streets were paved and some utilities were installed. bus routes connected the neighborhood to the city center. but without official recognition and nd ownership, these people remain squatters. so their community leaders are negotiating with the city government for land titles and city services. ( speaking portuguese ) translator: the first things we want here are day care, a health clinic and a school. these are the three things we need most urgently. narrator: if these newest migrants receive official recognition, they will be following a path behind generations before them,
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a path toward assimilation and integration. translator: i want to stay here, finish the house and continue. the kids will grow and study-- that's what i want. narrator: immigration to sao paulo has slowed again, but birth rates continue to increase the population. ( speaking portuguese ) translator: so after the 1980s and especially in the 1990s, we get a slowing down of internal migration, and the growth of the city is a result of "vegetative growth," that is, the natural growth of the population that inhabits the city, which, in either case, has decreased. narrator: with a projected population exceeding 20 million by 2015, sao paulo will continue to be one of the world's mega-cities. the urban geography of immigration and ethnic diversity
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reveal a complex pattern of squatter settlements and self-construction. with luck and hard work, the newest residents will get their chance to share in the wealth and sophistication that is sao paulo. narrator: in equatorial regions around the world, large tropical rain forests are quickly vanishing. none is larger than south america's amazon. for centuries, it seemed boundless, inexhaustible no more. 16% of brazil's rain forest has already vanished. in 22, over 10,000 squareiles of rain forest weesoyed-- that'about 16% of brazil's rain forest halfilbeone dades.a this rate atngheevelopment and w might it chang here we examine several themes, including:
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tropical forest ecology; human/environmental interaction; all to eherospts of sustainable development. infrastructure and transportation costs; the for its richnessst-- and its diversity of life.d the forest ecosystem is a delicate balance of plants and animals, soil and water. like geography, ecology is an integrative science, bringing together many problems into one view. ecologist daniel nepstad is researching the effec of worsening droughts in the amazon. whether he's gathering data in the forest canopy or mapping it on a computer, a spatial perspective is essential to understanding the future. to understd the future of the amazon,
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we really have to go back in time and think about the first people who arrived in the amazon, who came up the rivers-- and even these presented obstacles. if youo north on many of these tributaries-- orou-- you into waterfalls and rapids thatrevent boa from navigating. narrator:much of ths in the city of belém, which is located near . when european settlers arrived in amazonia in the 16th century and built cities like belém, the rain forest was seen as a rich, but impenetrable resource. until the 1970s, belém was accessible to the rest of brazil only by water. then came a wave of road building. so far, the major investments in infrastructure eeconcentrated along the eastern enof the basin and along the south. with roads you have cheaper access to the forest, and with cheaper access, a lot of economic activities become profitable.
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narrator: two of the biggest activities are cattle ranching and farming. ( chain saw buzzing ) but the one that clears the land for everything else is logging. ( wood splintering ) so whole new towns sprang up here, towns like paragominas, located in pará state. this is a boomtown, home to more than 80 sawmills. this is brazil's frontier, a land of opportunity munortamerica's frontier of 100 yes ago. on the map, each round saw blade represents diffused mostly along the roads in the south and east. but many of the most important new roads into the interior are still dirt and not paved.
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paving greatly accelerates the change. nepstad: and what we're going to do is just look a little bit into the future, imagining that these roads, which are still dirt roads, are all paved, as is slated by the federal government of brazil. narrator: in this simulation, the growing red area represents new deforestation every two years up to the year 2020. so as these roads are paved, deforestation is basically going to march up along those roads. instead of all the deforestation being concentrated along the east and south, we've made inroads into the core of the basin. narrator: at the southern edge of that core, a new economic force is pushing the pavement north. from space, we see fields of soybeans etched in the shrinking forest. brazil is about to overtake the u.s. as the world's leading producer of soy, exporting their crop to millions of chinese consumers
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and european livestock growers. the soy farmers of mato grosso are very keen on having asphalt so that they can ship their soybeans to the santarém port and put it on oceangoing freighters and serve the world markets that way. it's much cheaper that way than to go south to the big brazilian ports down south. as that pavement goes through, the ancillary effect of paving, of course, will be to make it cheaper for everyone to do business along that corridor. but let's just imagine for a second two different trajectories for this road. here we see the portion that's not yet been paved-- santarém up here, mato grosso down here. in a business-as-usual situation, as paving goes in here, people will move in along the highways, driven largely by land speculation interests, putting cattle pastures, shifting cultivation. and we can see the deforestation frontier rapidly expanding along this road. but there is reason to think
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that another scenario is possible. narrator: the lower rates of deforestation are based onheovernmen effectively rcing the environmental laws on the books. brazil has received some help from some new technology and from other ecologists, including chris uhl. uhl is the founder of imazon, a research institute located in the city of belém. the law in pará state says that 50% of all private land must be maintained in forest. until recently, that was very hard to monitor. now, using a system of satellites called the global positioning, researcher carlos sousa cado just that. man: okay, gps is really powerfutool for us. what it allows us to do is to pick up signals from the satellites. and through a process of triangulation we can locate ourselves very preciselyn the ground and through a process to within about ten meters.
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four... they've got four satellites now. we are... probably... in this... area. mm-hmm. narrator: if the government chooses, it can use gps to locate property lines on satellite photographs of the landscape. they can then determine how much of a farmer's land has been cleared but enforcement is spotty.rest. another big problem is the inefficient way the cleared land is being used. the most common farming and grazing method here requires the farmer to cut the forest and let it dry. llit capre thousands of fires from space, set by farmers during the dry season to release the nutrients from the vegetation. but the soil's productivity disappears, sometimes in one or two years. it forces settlers to abandon their land
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and cut more forest elsewhere. because this requires more land all the time, it is a form of extensive agriculture. it's called "shifting," "swidden" or "slash-and-burn" cultivation. it's practiced in many developing coues until the forest runs out. this land was abandoned by shifting cultivators a few years earlier. the sight of new trees led chris uhl to a surprising and controversial revelation. uhl: when i first started working down here, i really thought that these lands were extremely fragile. and yet, if you look over here, this is a site that was used for a pasture for about ten years. it wasn't a ve sssfu sture, it was abandoned. i would have guessed that this piece of land would have stayed sort of as a degraded old field, and yet it's clearly going back into forest. this is really a surprise for me. i didn'tginethat theort uld co .
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soald me my who vw of the fragilityof s. to rnk and as i began to think, it occurd to me that gee, yoknow, maybe ese systemarnot as fragile as i had expected and, in fact, that might imply th perhaps they coul used. so it began really a whole noth line ofesearch. rrator: uhl's research helps him and his colleagues to devise development guidelines for ranchers, farmers and foresters. for example, if loggers would cut trees more selectively and plan their logging roads less destructively, trees would regrow more quickly in areas wherehey have worked. satellite images show why that is so important. here is an area where loggers worked the old-fashioned way. when they cut, many surrounding trees were entangled in the same vines and came down as well. bulldozers damaged large areas trying to remove and store the trees. but in this area, vines were cut from selected trees the year before.
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narrow access roads allowed rubber-wheeled skidders to remove just the desired trees with much less damage. uhl: now, if we look into the following year, the forest scar, the logging scar here has disappeared. up here, we can still see some of that scar. openings up here are so big that one year later, they still haven't been covered by regrowing vines and regrowing forest vegetation. here they have. narrator: the method allows the logger sustainable harvests over many decades, and it helps everyone in the amazon avoid a growing problem. the reduced canopy from the indiscriminate harvest allows the sun to dry the forest floor, just adding to the fire hazard. fire and smoke plus reduced vegetation actually change the micro-climate, decreasing the rainfall and further increasing fires. it's a vicious cycle that is broken by careful tree harvests.
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as chris uhl learned, the trees grow back if you give them a chance. but his discovery led to an even bigger thought: if ranchers and farmers could use their land more efficiently and for longer periods of time, perhaps they could avoid cutting new forest in the first place. perhaps both developmental and environmental needs could be accommodated. it has to do with the difference between extensive and intensive agriculture. what we're thinking about as a viable alternative is an approachwhicis m, and byintensive" we mean that a given pof land wi pro and byintensive" we mean itoduce, uit anl dutaear afteyear now, the real chalngin this, of course, is tma this innsive approach sustainable. narrator: already, there are some successful models.
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near belém, small farms have been practicing intensive agriculture for decades. by mixing a variety of crops and by using locally produced organic and mineral fertilizers, they can continue to farm the same piece of land and by grovae ops, an increase their income nepstad: these systems include trees or other perennial crops, fruit crops, black pepper, cacao-- which is chocolate. even cattle ranching can be made to be more or less sustainable. narrator: intensification means experimenting with new breeds of cattle and grasses, and it mean allowing some pastures to recover while cattle graze in others. ( speaking portuguese ) translator: because grazing was degrading my fields, the farm didn't have a means to produce new grass. ( continuing in portuguese ) so, i decided to research what i'd seen done in other places
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and i intensified my planting. of course, there was an initial cost, but the return has been good, and it's paying for itself. narrator: these practices work well on a small scale in the eastern amazon, but can they be used throughout amazonia? this remains to be seen. the first results of this research showed that we have around 50% to 60% of the state appropriate for logging. and when we put together... narrator: imazon has determined that, overall, about 20% of pará state's land area could potentially be developed. with the use of regional maps, imazon is helping to plan a future that is acceptable to both environmentalists and developers. in doing so, they walk a thin line.
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...that are not appropriate for logging. i guess i'd characterize my approach as a pragmatic approach, uh, appthe wondernd diversity athe fort represents.ly prmac inhese i rlize that this landscape is inhated, will continue to be inhabited. and the goal is to come up with a win/win situation in the sense that conservation of the forest occurs, that bio-diversity is preserved, and also that people that live in this landscape have a high and just quality of life. narrator: this balancing act must take place in an environment that is more resilient than scientists once thought. at the sti the pressurenetad:he forest are mothey incdeging. ever. they include further drying provoked by deforestation, by el niño, by global warming. they include extensive agriculture,
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which provides abundant sources of ignition for forests that are rendered flammable by drought or by logging. and all of those are coming together in an expanding frontier that's going to move up along the roads that are being paved into the heart of the world's largest rain forest.
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captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org annenberg media ♪ for information about this and other annenberg media programs call 1-800-learner and visit us at www.learner.org.
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